It’s a fact. Your customers and prospects are just as interested in your latest news, accomplishments and updates as your media contacts are. Not only is a News Room beneficial to your public relations, new business sales and customer retention efforts, but it is an outstanding search engine optimization tactic as well.
Best Practices in News Room Development
The most useful, credibility-building news room is one that meets two objectives:
1. It can be quickly and easily maintained.
2. It offers a fulfilling user experience.
EASY, PEASY MAINTENANCE
Basic blog functionality will help you achieve the first goal. Your news room should include most recent posts first, allowing users to navigate into past posts as they please. Your blog functionality should accommodate several types of posts, from videos to image-based to longer article style.
It will also incorporate social media in two ways:
A. Follow Us icons and links to further build your online following
B. Social sharing icons/links on each post page to extend your audience reach
Integrate feeds from your Twitter, Facebook and event pages to display up-to-the-minute updates.
NEWS ROOM MUST HAVES
To create a positive user experience, you’ll need to meet the needs for a variety of users. For example, your content should be well organized as an“asset” management tool for your media contacts. A place they can go to easily access information, images or videos about your company, its spokespersons and products/services.
Your audiences will appreciate the following information and materials:
Blog-style News Feed
News Release Archive
Media Kit Contents
–Fact Sheet(s) / Fast Facts
–Images (Facility, Product, Executive Headshots)
–Slideshows & Presentations
About Us Content
–Company Fact Sheet
Publicity Placements Archive
–PDFs of print placements
–Links to online placements
Publicity Placement Archive
For your company’s own benefit, you’ll want to maintain a page within the news room that provides a detailed list of publicity placements (name of media outlet, title of placement, publish date, type of placement, author) along with a link to each placement (a PDF copy of the placement or link to the media outlet’s archived version of the article/video/audio placement). Sharing functionality will allow your visitors and brand ambassadors alike to easily spread the word across a variety of social and electronic channels.
YOUR NEWS ROOM’S HOME
When communicating with your media contacts, you’ll frequently and consistently point them to your online news room to access information, images, etc. In electronic communications, you’ll include a hotlink (hyperlink) that takes your media contact directly to your news room.
But don’t stop there. Any great resource to the media becomes accessible day or night. You never know when a story idea will hit an editor, and if your press room is useful and memorable, he or she may just firm-up their story idea by taking a look at the information you’ve made easily available online. So, make sure that the URL of your press room is short, sweet and makes total sense. For example, “GreatCoUSA.com/newsroom.”
Of course, you’ll make sure your news room pages comply with all of the basic search engine optimization best practices so that when a reporter searches Google for “Great Co. USA annual report” she’ll be a click away.
Finally, you’ll want to make your new room easily available from your site’s Home Page and About Us section. Intuitively, the media will look for a Press Room link on these pages.
For public relations counsel, news room development guidance or media relations support, get in touch with the ePR pros at Responsory today.